You can read her articles on Entrepreneur, Search Engine Journal, Mashable, Social Media Examiner, Hubspot and Moz. She is passionate about guest blogging and her passion resulted in her project — MyBlogGuest.com, the free platform for guest bloggers and blog owners.
Today we will talk with Ann Smarty about her career, MyBlogU and other interesting topics.
Also, if you are a Twitter user and you love to chat with people in different communities you can join their weekly Twitter Chat on #vcbuzz hashtag (here you can read all their twitter chat until now).
Official website: www.annsmarty.com
Could you tell us briefly about your background?
“I am Ann Smarty, a professional self-taught blogger and community manager. I started my blog 8 years ago and that defined my career.
I had never planned to be a digital marketing expert and had thought my career path was pretty well planned. Here’s a full story of how I started.”
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
“Oh I was so excited and inspired: I either don’t remember or really had no challenges when I started… well, except for my lack of confidence in my English language skills (My native language is Russian). But I overcame that pretty naturally by practicing writing and reading daily.”
Who or what has been the single biggest influence on your work?
“Hard to identify one. I was first inspired by Jim Boykin’s blog and the wealth of information he provided. That was the most indepth blog I was aware of.
Then I came across Moz and got inspired by the power and spirit of the community I found there. I was member of many forums but Moz was the first one where I felt that everyone was genuinely willing to help. There was little to no ranting and I felt really good there. I think all my communities I’ve built after that are very influenced by that model.”
What type of brief or project do you enjoy working on the most?
“I love community management projects. I like brainstorming how to get more people engaged, how to incentivize influencers and help members of the community grow.
I think [Tweet “the ability to connect to other people is the most important achievement of the Internet”]”
Tell us more about the MyBlogU project?
“MyBlogU is a free blogging collaboration project that helps bloggers grow. The collaboration happens on three levels:
- Brainstorms: You can ask members to help you with original angles, useful connections, interesting stats or case studies on any topic
- Interviews: You can collect expert quotes on any topic
- Articles: You can upload your article and let the approved “editors” (or collaborators, to put it better) help you make it better
We have a robust system of email reminders helping bloggers keep in touch. As a result you get a much more indepth and original article and also all your collaborators join you in sharing it around social media.”
How MyBlogU can help a digital marketer?
“There are many ways depending on what the digital marketer wants to achieve: You can connect to influencers and experts in any niche, build relationships with bloggers, build references from content you help build, crowd-source your content marketing efforts to increase interactions and quality…
Here are some testimonials showing how MyBlogU helps bloggers and marketers.”
What do you think about SEM and Text ads?
“I treat them as one of my marketing channels. I am lucky enough to be in the niche where you can do without them but I know many sites that were saved thanks to contextual ads (after being hit by Google penalty, for example).”
What’s the ideal ratio to achieve between organic, referral, social media and advertising as acquisition channels?
“Just a couple of years ago, 50% of organic referrals and 50% of everything else was perfect. Nowadays, you should aim at 30% organic, 10% PPC (altogether including search and social PPC), 30% referral traffic from other people mentioning you and then 30% everything else (email marketing, social media traffic, etc). All of that NOT counting your direct traffic.
In some non-fun niches, that would be 20% of PPC and 20% of referral…”
What are the most important 3 tools for you?
- “Spyfu: Great both for brainstorming, keyword research, competitor research, etc
- Majectic: Great for keyword research
- Viral Content Bee: It’s my tool, but what can I do if I really use it daily?”
Could you recommend two or more resources for advertising professionals reading our blog?
- “I’ve written this article on color marketing long ago, but it’s an eye-opener for many marketers. It gives you quite some
- For social media marketers, there’s a handy comparison of existing social media paid promotion offering.”
Thank you, Ann!